Pinball Hall of Fame

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In my last post about Las Vegas I mentioned that we visited a place called Pinball Hall of Fame. Tim Arnold, a Michigan pinball fan and collector who owns about 1,000 pinball machines, together with the members of the non-profit organization named Las Vegas Pinball Collector Club, opened the Pinball Hall of Fame as a museum. About 300 machines, part of Arnold’s collection, are displayed in the 10,000 square foot warehouse on Tropicana Avenue, and they are also available to play.

Most of the machines are from the 60´s, 70´s and 80’s but there are also a few newer ones. Entrance is free and games range between 25 cents and 1 dollar depending on the machine. All profits go to the Salvation Army and everyone who works there is a volunteer. 2014-04-20 13.59.39

One of the machines that rapidly drew my eyes to it was the 1933 jigsaw pinball table. It is all mechanical and the game consists of releasing the ball with the appropriate speed so it loops around the machine and goes through the door. Once inside, it will come towards you and with the help of the pins on the board it will move to a certain score hole and go through it. A number of pieces of the puzzle on the bottom will flip up depending on the score you get. This one is definitely a museum piece!2014-04-20 13.31.12Another interesting game you will find here is the Pinball Circus. Pinball Hall of Fame houses one of the two machines that were built as a prototype in 1994. The machine costed so much to build that it was never sent to production. The other one is privately owned. With 7 flippers, 4 bumpers and 3 levels, this machine plays a bit different. Elephants, clowns and a spiral ramp are part of this complicated and unique piece.

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Besides pinball machines, the museum/arcade has some other vintage games to play and admire. An old toy grabber was one that caught my attention. To win the prizes in the box, you need to turn a handle to position the claw where you want it to aim. Then you deposit 25 cents and it will rapidly move forward, come down and close itself attempting to grab what is underneath. Just like modern grabbers, chances are limited but after three attempts I was able to take home the rubber duckie that is next to the coin box in the picture. The machine is made of wood and the claw looks like the ones used in construction vehicles, pretty different from the ones we have nowadays.

Visitors of all ages stop by to play. Some guests go there out of nostalgia to relive childhood memories, others go to create new ones together with their kids. No matter what is your reason to visit, this is a pretty cool place to spend a few hours of arcade fun.

All photos are owned by Sandra unless otherwise noted.

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